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Pendulum - previous index next The Pendulum Michael Fowler...

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previous index next The Pendulum Michael Fowler The Simple Pendulum Galileo was the first to record that the period of a swinging lamp high in a cathedral was independent of the amplitude of the oscillations, at least for the small amplitudes he could observe. In 1657, Huygens constructed the first pendulum clock, a vast improvement in timekeeping over all previous techniques. So the pendulum was the first oscillator of real technological importance. In fact, though, the pendulum is not quite a simple harmonic oscillator: the period does depend on the amplitude, but provided the angular amplitude is kept small, this is a small effect. The weight mg of the bob (the mass at the end of the light rod) can be written in terms of components parallel and perpendicular to the rod. The component parallel to the rod balances the tension in the rod. The component perpendicular to the rod accelerates the bob, 2 2 sin . d ml mg dt  
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